A student walks up to the Elaine and Kenneth Leventhal School of Accounting on Trousdale Parkway. Photo by William Vasta.
The USC Leventhal School of Accounting is dedicated to maintaining a leadership position in accounting education and research. We are committed to educational programs that seek to establish in each graduate the potential for career development into the highest executive levels of public accounting, controllership, financial management and management of accounting information systems. The accounting curriculum explores not only the state of the art but also seeks to explore the accounting discipline’s future structures and directions. Relevant concepts and techniques from other academic disciplines are drawn upon and integrated into all accounting programs.
Accounting education has been an integral part of USC since 1920, when the Department of Accounting offered a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting. The Leventhal School of Accounting was established in 1979 in recognition of the growing importance of accounting to our economy and broader society. It continues to rank as one of the premier AACSB-accredited accounting programs in the nation.
Currently the Leventhal School of Accounting undergraduate program offers a Bachelor of Science accounting degree. Honors students may be eligible for early admission to the graduate program, an efficient way to complete both undergraduate and graduate degrees. An accounting minor is also offered to students outside the USC Marshall School of Business. The school also offers a minor in risk management. Graduate programs include a full-time Master of Accounting, Master of Accounting with an emphasis in Data Analytics or Master of Business Taxation; a Master of Business Taxation (Data and Analytics); a Master of Business Taxation for working professionals; and a Juris Doctor/Master of Business Taxation in conjunction with the USC Gould School of Law. A PhD degree with an accounting major is offered through the doctoral program in the Marshall School of Business.
USC Leventhal School of Accounting
FAX: (213) 747-2815
Email (graduate students): MAcc.MBT@marshall.usc.edu; (undergraduate students) firstname.lastname@example.org
William W. Holder, DBA, CPA, Dean, Alan Casden Dean’s Chair at the Leventhal School of Accounting
Mark L. DeFond, PhD, CPA, Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs
Shirley Maxey, BA*, Associate Dean, Master’s Programs
Lori Smith, BS, CPA, Assistant Dean, Academic Administration
Arthur Alba, MA, Director, Undergraduate Program
George Bozanic and Holman G. Hurt Chair in Sports and Entertainment Business: S. Mark Young, PhD*
Joseph A. DeBell Chair in Business Administration: TJ Wong, PhD
A.N. Mosich Chair in Accounting: Mark L. DeFond, PhD, CPA*
Accounting Associates Professor of Accounting: Clive Lennox, PhD
Accounting Circle Professor of Accounting: Regina Wittenberg Moerman, PhD
Robert R. Dockson Professor of Business Administration: Patricia Dechow, PhD
KPMG Foundation Professor of Accounting: K.R. Subramanyam, PhD
Ernst & Young Professor of Accounting: Sarah E. Bonner, PhD, CPA*
Professors: Randolph P. Beatty, PhD, CPA; Sarah E. Bonner, PhD, CPA*; Patricia Dechow, PhD; Mark L. DeFond, PhD, CPA*; William W. Holder, DBA, CPA; Clive Lennox, PhD; Daniel E. O’Leary, PhD, CPA, CMA, CISA; Richard Sloan, PhD; Mark Soliman, PhD, CPA; K.R. Subramanyam, PhD; Charles W. Swenson, PhD*, CPA; Regina Wittenberg-Moerman, PhD; TJ Wong, PhD; S. Mark Young, PhD*
Associate Professors: John J. Barcal, JD, CPA*; Shane M. Heitzman, PhD; Maria Ogneva, PhD; Shiing-Wu Wang, PhD*
Assistant Professors: Shelley Xin Li, PhD; Tracie Majors, PhD, CPA; Matthew Shaffer, PhD; Lorien Stice-Lawrence, PhD; David Tsui, PhD; Forester Wong, PhD
Professors of Clinical Accounting: Ruben A. Davila, JD, MBA, CPA; Chrislynn Freed, MBA, CPA*; Merle Hopkins, PhD*; Cecil W. Jackson, PhD, CPA; Rose M. Layton, MAcc, CPA*; Shirley Maxey, BA*; Patricia Mills, JD, LLM; Francisco Román, PhD
Associate Professors of Clinical Accounting: Robert Kiddoo, MBA, CPA; Smrity Randhawa, PhD; Lori Smith, BS, CPA; Julie Suh, PhD*; Zivia Sweeney, MBA, CPA*
Associate Professor of the Practice of Accounting: Kristen Jaconi, JD*
Professors of the Practice of Accounting: John Owens, BS; Thomas P. Ryan, MBA
Lecturer: Gregory M. Kling, MST
Emeritus Professors: Joseph L. Keller, MS, CPA; Thomas W. Lin, PhD, CMA; Kenneth A. Merchant, PhD, CPA; Theodore J. Mock, PhD; ZoeVonna Palmrose, PhD
*Recipient of university-wide or school teaching award.
Bachelor of Science, Accounting
The USC Leventhal School of Accounting offers the Bachelor of Science, Accounting (BS) degree designed to provide students with a broad foundation in accounting and business to prepare them for entry into the professional program leading to a Master of Accounting or Master of Business Taxation degree. The undergraduate curriculum also provides the background necessary for direct entry into the accounting profession.
Master of Accounting
The Master of Accounting (MAcc) program provides an integrated curriculum designed to prepare graduates for careers in professional accounting, public accounting, industry and government. Students have the opportunity to study accounting in greater depth and in more areas of specialization than in undergraduate accounting programs or MBA programs with concentrations in accounting. Students have flexibility in elective choices to reflect their career goals.
Master of Accounting (Data and Analytics)
The Master of Accounting, Data and Analytics emphasis (MAcc D+A) delivers a firm foundation in accounting, audit and financial reporting with a focus on data and analytics and the enabling of IT capabilities. The exclusive career focus for the D+A emphasis is on the role of an auditor.
Master of Business Taxation
The Master of Business Taxation (MBT) degree is offered to both full-time and part-time students. The program is designed for accountants, attorneys and business professionals who wish to learn or improve skills and knowledge through participation in advanced tax study. Students have flexibility in elective choices to reflect their career focus and goals. The part-time program is referred to as the MBT for Working Professionals (MBTWP).
Master of Business Taxation (Data and Analytics)
The Master of Business Taxation with an emphasis in data and analytics (MBT D&A) delivers a firm foundation in taxation with a focus on data and analytics and the enabling of IT capabilities. This program provides a rigorous approach and will require students to develop strong analytical skills while focusing on such areas as tax research, corporate taxation, accounting methods and multijurisdictional taxation. Tax instruction is further enhanced by incorporating data analysis into the tax curriculum with the goal of providing students with an understanding of how to capture data, analyze it, draw conclusions and present those conclusions to disparate audiences.
Juris Doctor/Master of Business Taxation
The USC Gould School of Law and the Leventhal School of Accounting offer this dual degree program. Admission to the JD program offered by the Law School is required before applying to the MBT program offered by the Leventhal School of Accounting.
Doctor of Philosophy
The Marshall School of Business offers the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in conjunction with the Graduate School. A student electing to major in accounting may design a research program that emphasizes auditing, financial accounting, information systems, management accounting or taxation. More information on the doctoral program is available in the USC Marshall School of Business section of this catalogue, or contact the doctoral office at (213) 740-0674 or the director of doctoral studies in accounting at (213) 740-4838.
Admission to Master’s Programs
The Leventhal School of Accounting seeks individuals who have the potential for outstanding achievement in accounting or taxation. The Admissions Committee uses the holistic review model. Candidates are reviewed on the merits of their application and the merits of the applicant pool for the year in which they seek admission.
Applicants to the full-time programs are not required to have previous work experience. Applicants to the part-time MBT program (MBTWP) are required to have a minimum of one year full-time professional experience related to taxation after receiving an undergraduate degree.
Application to the Programs
An admission decision requires the following: (1) a completed USC Leventhal School of Accounting online graduate application (available at gradadm.usc.edu/); (2) a non-refundable application fee; (3) one official transcript from the registrar of each college or university attended (undergraduate and/or postgraduate); (4) two letters of recommendation; (5) a professional résumé; (6) an official Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score report or, for JD/MBT applicants or attorneys, an official Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score report; and (7) an essay. Finalists must also complete an interview.
Applicants for the JD/MBT dual degree program should apply to the Leventhal School of Accounting for admission to the MBT program in the second semester of their first year in the USC Gould School of Law. In addition, current Law School transcripts and a “letter in good standing” from the registrar of the Law School must be submitted as part of the application. The same Leventhal School of Accounting admission criteria apply to the MBT portion of the JD/MBT program.
In addition to the application requirements noted above, all international students must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. A letter of financial support is also required.
MAcc/MBT for Current USC Students
The Leventhal School of Accounting offers the opportunity to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in five years or less. This simplified, early admission process is for current USC students who have demonstrated exceptional academic success in undergraduate studies and who have completed a minimum of 70 units of course work. Strong SAT scores may be substituted for GMAT scores for continuing USC students only.
Please see a Leventhal School of Accounting academic adviser for further information and to develop a course plan proposal.
Full-time MAcc and MBT – Applicants are urged to file a completed application as early as possible. For applications to the full-time programs that begin in summer or fall, the online application system is generally open beginning early October. For more information regarding application deadlines go to our Website marshall.usc.edu/programs/graduate-accounting-programs.
MBT for Working Professionals – For more information regarding application deadlines go to our Website marshall.usc.edu/programs/graduate-accounting-programs.
Subject to approval of the Leventhal School of Accounting, the maximum number of transfer credits that may be applied toward the master’s degree is three units. To be applied to the degree, transfer work must have been completed within five years of admission to the master’s program. Graduate transfer credit will not be granted for course work taken elsewhere after a student has been admitted and enrolled at USC. Credit will only be allowed for courses (1) from an AACSB-accredited graduate school, (2) of a quality of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale, (3) constituting a fair and reasonable equivalent to current USC course work at the graduate level, and (4) fitting into the logical program for the degree. Transfer course work is applied as credit (CR) toward the degree and is not included in the calculation of a minimum grade point average for graduation.
With the written approval of the Leventhal School of Accounting, waiver of required courses may be granted to students based upon prior academic work. All waived courses must be replaced with approved electives. Students should carefully read their program evaluation form to know what electives must be taken if they are granted subject waivers.
ProgramsBachelor’s DegreeMinorMaster’s DegreeDual Degree
Enrollment in most 500-level business courses by non-business graduate students requires special permission. For information about the registration application process for non-business students, visit the Schedule of Classes.